The trouble with week-long programs of beer events is that organizers want to be inclusive and have trouble saying no to borderline events. TBW is better on this front than OCD week in June – partly because they don’t cover the entire province – but the event list has still become somewhat unwieldy. Instead of running through the comprehensive list of probably-better-than-average suggestions, I thought we better to offer a few pics that I think will escape attention.
(By the way, if you took the week off work and really do want a-to-z guide, Ben Johnson’s at blogTO is more what you’re looking for.)
Books and Brews: I really dig the experience of writing about beer and that means that reading about it something that I spend a lot of time on, so I’m happy to see that the Toronto Public Library will participate in Toronto Beer Week for the first time this year. I’m not getting paid to promote this event, but I do have a vested interest in that success since I’ll be on stage for a panel discussion with two other Toronto-based beer authors. The same branch is also hosting an introduction to home brewing programme on Saturday, 13 September.
Home Brew Tap Takeover: Speaking of amateur brews, the second annual Home Brew Tap Takeover is happening at the Indie Alehouse Barrel House on September 14. Great opportunity to sample beer that is unhampered by any question of whether it would do well as a commercial venture. Given the speed at which our province’s beer scene is growing, there’s a good chance a few of the participants will turn pro one day. It’s not on the event page yet, but word on Twitter is that there will be a second session starting at 4 PM.
Hopera: You have two chances to head to Habits Gastropub to take in performances of eight different operatic pieces, each with their own craft beer pairing. As the article by event director Mirella Amato (published beer writer and ex-opera-singer) details this event offers more than just a novel pairing for beer, but also an extraordinary opportunity to experience opera in a small, intimate setting. More details on the TBW site.
Dinner with Avaughn Wells: Cork’s in the Longo’s at Maple Leaf Square is one of my favourite hidden spots for a beer. On September 15 they’re bringing in Avaughn Wells, the executive chef from Amsterdam’s Brewhouse along with limited edition beers from their Adventure Series. This is a spectacular deal at $35 for a three-course meal.
A Night with GLB and Amsterdam: To be honest, there is nothing under-the-radar about this event. Bar Hop will be slammed. Lackey and McOustra are bound to put their best foot forward (in the case of the collaborative brews their feet were tied together) with an all-out tap list. There are no tickets and you can’t make reservations, though, so I feel like it’s a situation that calls for as many reminders as possible: If you go to only one TBW event this year, I’d make it this one. But if you don’t like crowds there is a halfway-decent chance the event’s dregs will still be on offer the next day at Bar Hop.
From talking to Troy Burtch, one of the week’s organisers, the committee is most excited to have partnered with Premium Beer Experience for a full-fledged kick-off event tonight at Berkeley Church. If you haven’t bought tickets (or didn’t win them in one of the contests) there are apparently still some available at the door.